Liquor and wine shops at several areas in Delhi were forced shut on Monday after social distancing norms were flouted by people who had lined up to buy alcohol. Various pictures and videos of people crowding areas around liquor shops had surfaced on social media since 10 am - when the liquor vendors had begun the sale of alcohol. At several places, including the Laxmi Nagar area, the Delhi police even resorted to lathi-charge to keep the situation under control.
The authorities have shut down liquor shops in Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar and Krishna Nagar areas, where people reportedly violated the social distancing norms and were seen standing in groups close to each other.
According to the details, other than Laxmi Nagar, Burari and Malviya Nagar areas also witnessed massive crowds as people flocked on to the streets to purchase liquor.
Various state governments had allowed wine and liquor shops to operate from 10 am to 6 pm starting today, as lockdown 3.0 came into effect. With this, the government had also laid down several guidelines, which outlined the need to maintain social distancing norms while standing in the queue to purchase liquor.
The guidelines also stated that not more than five customers will be allowed at a time, at the liquor or wine shops.
Shut down liquor vends: Delhi RWAs urge govt
After long queues outside liquor shops in the national capital took social distancing norms for a ride, the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA's) in the city have urged the government to immediately close down all liquor vends and review arrangements.
Several Resident Welfare Associations in Delhi have strongly objected to the opening of liquor shops in most parts of the city despite entire Delhi being declared as a Red Zone with over 4,459 coronavirus cases.
"The long queues started early in the morning outside liquor shops, even before the shops opened for sale, which led to social distancing going for a toss, in some areas it became a law and order problem and some vends had to be shut," said V.K. Arora, Convenor of Delhi RWA Forum.
Some even suggested the Delhi government to first review the situation and open the vends in a proper phased manner to ensure that no social distancing norms are flouted. "The first day of the opening of liquor vends was tricky and has already led to long queues and chaos in the city, the government should immediately shut the liquor vends and come up with a policy to regulate the sale by opening in a phased manner," said Rajiv Kakria, member of the RWA of Greater Kailash 1.
"The government can adopt odd-even formula to control crowds, can think about home delivery of liquor on lines of the West Bengal government, can introduce rationing per person to prevent hoarding or black marketing," Kakria suggested.